How to Prevent the Mineral Density Loss in Bones
If you have weak bones and already had a few fractures that seem abnormally frequent and too easy to get, this can be a sign of mineral density loss in bones. As the WebMD experts claim, bone mineral density refers to the level of minerals that indicates the common density and strength. It’s difficult to have strong bones if your mineral density levels are lower than normal.
What is osteopenia?
When your bones are weaker that they used to be but not weak enough for you to be diagnosed with osteoporosis, this bone density disorder can be classified as osteopenia (according to WebMD). This condition is potentially dangerous because it can make reduce the bone strength by thinning them and causing easier fractures than usually. If left untreated, osteopenia may lead to a more serious bone density disorder – osteoporosis.
Commonly, there is no pain or inflammation among osteopenia symptoms. In fact, to be diagnosed with osteopenia you may go through a special test (that you should have annually if you are in a risk group).
The causes of low bone density
One of the most widespread causes of weakened bone health, in general, and low mineral density, in particular, is becoming old. According to Healthline, the elderly people are more prone to osteopenia than young and middle-aged adults. When a person is growing older, his or her bone mass loses minerals, its heaviness, and structure – these factors make the bones weaker and more inclined to fractures.
The other factors that may contribute to bone loss and osteopenia:
- Chronic eating disorders;
- Metabolic problems;
- The exposure to radiation;
- The genetic thin body structure due to a family history;
- A lack of adequate physical activity;
- The regular consumption of sodas;
- The excessive alcohol consumption.
Also, according to the recent U.S. statistics, women are more likely to get a low density in bones than men.
Why do you need a mineral bone density test?
The experts from Mayo Clinic and WebMD teams recommend having a bone mineral density (BMD) test every few years after the age of 35. Also, there are certain risk groups of people who need to get this test annually:
- All women who are older than 65 years;
- All men who are older than 70 years;
- People of both genders who have hyperparathyroidism;
- Women and men who are using corticosteroids regularly, like prednisone.
The BMD test may measure your bone health by comparing their density to the level of a healthy person of the same sex and age.
In most U.S. clinics, a BMD scan is done by the radiology department’s experts. During the test, a doctor may ask you to take off the clothes with metal buckles or buttons and jewelry that can prevent the possible problems of a BDM scan.
What the bone density test results can show:
- If you have osteoporosis;
- If you are at risk of breaking bones;
- If your low bone density treatment is working.
Osteopenia treatment and prevention: the expert guidelines
A low mineral density in bones may be treated and prevented. For example, the teams of WebMD and Healthline offer such expert tips that may result in the osteopenia and osteoporosis prevention:
Staying active can make your bones stronger!
If you are wondering – can osteoporosis be reversed, when you have been already diagnosed with osteopenia, consider changing your lifestyle by being as active as possible. Just like muscles, bones may get stronger only when you use them. The weight-bearing exercises that let your body work against gravity. Alternatively, stair climbing, walking, and dancing can strengthen your bones as well.
Sticking to a special osteopenia and osteoporosis diet
In order to get strong bones, you need to follow a special diet rich in Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. Your daily diet may contain such foods:
- Yogurt, cheese, low-fat milk, and other dairy products;
- Collard greens and broccoli along with other green vegetables;
- Salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines (with bones);
- Fish liver oils;
- Beef liver;
- Egg yolks.
Also, consider reducing the intake of salt and caffeine, sodas and alcohol (especially beer and wine).
The sun can strengthen your bones
If you want to receive Vitamin D in the most natural way, except foods, consider taking more sunbaths. Spending a few minutes outdoors in the sunshine can be enough to receive your daily intake of Vitamin D. Be sure to wear sunscreen when you are in the sun to prevent skin cancer and wrinkles.
Taking certain drugs for osteopenia
When you have already broken a bone, your healthcare specialist may recommend taking some drugs to speed up the healing and prevent the new fractures.
Bear in mind that drugs can trigger some nasty side effects and allergic reactions. Use them only under medical guidance.
Natural supplements may be also helpful
For the prevention of mineral density in bones or reversing osteoporosis, experts recommend taking certain supplements. For instance, people with weak bones or in risk groups may consider taking 1000-1200 milligrams of calcium and 600-800 international units (IU) of Vitamin D daily, along with a healthy diet.
In some cases, a person with osteopenia may need taking other nutritional supplements for strengthening the bones:
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) – two omega-3 fatty acids (found in wild fish);
- Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA);
- Folic acid;
- Vitamin B6;
- Vitamin B12;
Bone health is not less important than the health of any other body organs. If you change your lifestyle to prevent the mineral density loss, you may save yourself from serious bone problems when growing older.